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tv   Inside Washington  ABC  October 24, 2010 9:00am-9:30am EDT

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>> some of you need to man up and spend some political capital to support the tea party candidates. >> i would rather be in our position and then there's. >> this week on "inside washington," counting down to the midterm elections. there >> are folks out there in washington, d.c., who are saying, you know what? it cannot be done. just like any 2008. >> attack ads on board of voters. this one is different. >> don't vote. >> with the democrats on the
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ropes, it bill clinton to the rescue? >> at least we stopped digging. >> the wife of supreme court justice clarence thomas telephones anita hill 19 years later for an apology. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org-- hello, i'm mark shields, sitting in this week reported peterson. if the pollsters are correct, a republican wave is cresting and the gop is poised to take a house. the spotlight is shining on the senate. races are tight everywhere. jeanne cummings, what will happen november 2? >> prognosticators say a hung jury in the senate and republican win in the house. >> colby king?
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>> probably right. i agree with jeanne. what is surprising is at this stage, a week and a half before the election, they are playing the defense with the president trying to establish a firewall in states that should be safe. >> nina? >> there is some evidence that democrats are coming home, but i don't think it is enough. i agree with jeanne, although democrats may pull it out. >> charles? >> the peasantry will rise and the arrogant rulers will be humiliated. >> republicans are going to lose? >> you are a little out of date. i know you have been catching up, you were away. nine-one, republicans when the house. in the senate, four seed school
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switch for sure, about six or seven absolute tossups. -- four seats switched for sure, about six or seven absolute tossups. >> colby king, battleground states -- nevada, harry reid fighting for his life against sharron angle. >> he is, barbara boxer is fighting for life in california, patty murray is alive but maybe not well in the state of washington. it is a tough time. i've never seen such strong incumbents -- at least they appeared to be strong at one. -- in such bad shape. >> that is the fire wall of the three western states, where they are spending triaged resources. if they can hold those three seats, they will hold the senate the others and the east are problematic and will probably go republican.
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if two of them go republican, washington and nevada, that is a republican senate. >> there are weird things happening in the east. pennsylvania, which we thought would be a republican pickup, looks very tight now. i am told that it may not be enough to save russ feingold. i think the fact that there are things going on that are -- that i cannot quite figure out. >> jeanne cummings, colorado, a purple said th -- purple state that barack obama kerri, that is a battleground. and his home state, his home senate seat, alexi giannoulis against mark kirk, a republican, that is in the balance, too. >> it illinois -- what strikes many people who have watched
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that risk of a carefully, kirk should be running away with that, and he is not. that is an oddity. one of the reasons a lot of these races have taken up -- tightened up, is that democrats would like to engage. in pennsylvania, the democratic pac had very hard-hitting advertisements against the republican, toomey, who in august at the risk to himself. it has tightened up a little bit. the bad news for the democrats is that they are looking to come at the right moment, but there seems to be a surge by republicans that democrats hope would not happen, and that tightens up races were democrats were starting to slip ahead. >> watch this spot, but " don't
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vote." it is by the teen as for -- by latinos for reform, a conservative group. >> democratic leaders must pay for the broken promises and the trails. if we go on supporting them again this november, they will keep playing games with our future or vote for granted. -- and take our vote for granted. don't vote this november. this is the only way to send them a clear message. you can no longer take us for granted. don't vote. >> colby king, this -- excuse me -- is this a first in american politics, a member of a minority group urging fellow minority voters not to vote? >> i cannot speak for all minorities. i have never heard of this before. this is another example of a voter suppression, the most
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blatant when we have seen, saying "don't vote." anti-democrats and anti- democratic. this goes beyond the pale, and to working people to stay away from the polls -- encouraging people to stay away from the polls in, say, nev. >> it did play in nevada, and obviously, harry reid's reelection strategy relies on a lot of latinos. >> cut the idea that it is suppression is complete nonsense. that implies the use of the authority of government in preventing the vote. this is advice, don't go out and vote. >> no, no, no -- >> what is you need here is that in broadcasting, out of all the tens of thousands of advertisements and all the races in the country, you show one that, as you said, did not appear on television.
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>> let's get the definitions clear. suppression is not talking about the government's hand. republicans up on this before, telling people to not vote on tuesday, a vote on wednesday, that they are going to check your registration carefully -- >> and this advertisement that was shown is not of that. it does not give a wrong date of the election, it does not say that you have a literacy requirement. it says don't vote. you are an adult. you get a vote or not, you can listen or not -- >> if you defend that ad then we have nothing to talk about. >> i defend ads that -- >> a "don't vote" ad is
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acceptable? >> let's hear from my colleagues. jeanne. >> i think what this demonstrates is that all these outside groups that come in and cannot be controlled and coordinate with campaigns and there is always a risk that one of them will overstep the line and create an issue for candidates which the candidates themselves did not create. in this case, harry reid has tried to take this ad that ran on radio, not for long, and attach it to his republican opponent, sharron angle and hurt her candidacy with it. we will see if it works. she did not start it. >> the only thing this demonstrates is the choices on this show that we choose as the supposed example of a certain kind of campaign -- it is one in 10,000. >> charles, i am going to have to suppress you. [ male announcer ] are you paying more and more for cable
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>> i don't want to see my country make a mistake, and i'm old enough to remember that when you make an important decision, never mind politics, about anything, when you are really mad, there is about 80% chance he will make a mistake. -- you will make a mistake. >> bill clinton is back in the spotlight. campaigning for 65 candidates at 95 events this year. there he is in florida with kendrick meek, senator terry mur -- the dairy murray of washington state, in maryland with gov. martin o'malley. can bill clinton make a difference for the democrats? >> i think he can, otherwise these candidates would not be asking him to come in certainly the candidates think he can make a difference.
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he has drawn a very good crowds. especially in states with early voting, often times they will disperse the crowd right into some kind of precinct so that they can pass their votes. it is a great to organize and rally around your candidacy. i think he also can communicate and connect with voters in a very effective ways. we knew that back when he was president, and these candidates are hoping he can do it again. >> nina, the connecting part is something barack obama has been accused of lacking, the emotional connection with voters. bill clinton seems to epitomize it. >> yes, and he loves it. you watch the happy warrior, and you are happy to be watching this exercise. it makes politics a joyful experience, not an arduous one. if you can energize the base and get people to thfocus -- the
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almost lectures in these things, but they are interesting economic lectures. he is a great asset, and the fact that he loves it makes people got to be there. >> colby, democrats argued don't go back, but then you see clinton and you said, hey, i would like to go back to that. >> he can talk about the good times, the jobs that were created, the balanced budget that was produced and he says we can do this again if we stay -- if we get a chance to continue to do it. but he does not have the same things at stake as the candidates or barack obama. he has no job to lose. it is all gravy for him. in some places, barack obama is the asset, like in california where his approval ratings are high. he cannot go where bill clinton is going. >> charles, in a truly polarizing year, the only bipartisan figure is bill
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clinton. can you explain that? >> i would not explain it because i don't agree with it. i don't share nina's rafter at seeing him reappear on the scene. he is a great politician and i'm not sure he will make a difference either way. i would like to analyze what he said. what we heard him say is that if you are mad, you don't want to make a decision, because it is likely to be wrong. the president said this week that -- they are trying to prepare a narrative to explain the coming democratic collapse -- he says that the brain is hard wired when people are afraid to not think straight. that is his explanation. but he said that in massachusetts. preparing the story -- the country is either in a panic or is angry, and thus is going to act rationally in rejecting the democrats. i think it's an odd at proposition and a reflection of the unbelievable intellectual arrogance of the democratic
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leadership. >> we go from bill clinton to unbelievable arrogance. he is the only bipartisan political figure in the country -- >> he may get great ratings, but i took his words you just showed on the screen seriously and try to explain what the implication was. >> and you did not do it successfully, either. trouble in
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>> when i get on a plane, what if i see people who are in muslim garb, identifying himself first and foremost as muslims, i get worried, i get nervous. >> that was fox commentator juan williams on bill o'reilly's showed this week. the comments got him fired from his other job at national public radio. this is a bit awkward, i don't
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want to start a family fight between our npr and fox colleagues, but what do you make of this? it got front-page play in "the new york times." nina totenberg. >> i work for npr, as you said, so i have certain opinions that i will not share with you. but i do think that this is a very -- the art did not let people go -- npr to not let people go to the inaugural ball, even if they were married to somebody who was active, and it put out a bulletin that people could not go to the jon stewart march, and they have had issues with juan before. i am in the most awkward position, talking about a management decision that i may or may not agree with, but it was not a terribly popular decision on the news floor. >> colby king. >> well, we only saw part of
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juan ponce de madrid later in the show he questioned bill o'reilly -- je -- juan's statement. later he questioned bill reilly and said to do not want to make a sweeping, about christianity because of what timothy mcveigh had done. it is a balancing statement, and this certainly was not a firing offense. but npr is now suggesting there is more to it than that. like many things, is murky. >> charles, fox, where you are a contributor, offered juan a $2 million contract. >> i think it is a clear issue. the big tree chart is a joke. if you heard it in context, there was no big trick at all. jesse jackson once talked about the sadness he feels when he is on the street and years footsteps and it turns out to be
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a white person, he says it is relieved. it is the kind of a feeling he says he is sad about what he talked about openly. he is not a bigot. juan is not a bigot. npr came up with a second explanation, that he went over the line as an npr analyst expressing opinions. i am on the set with juan at least once a week, i have been on the set with nina almost 17 years, and i don't understand the inconsistency here. why is it ok for to express opinions, as she has unashamedly and openly, and she is an honored correspondent there? in fact, the damage in your status on the show in your biography and your -- they mention your status on the show in your biography on npr. and juan when he expresses his opinions gets canned from npr.
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the standard ought to be lower for him because he is an analyst and nina is a correspondent. >> in the modern journalistic world, where people are are asked to give opinions, if you cover a story, you may be asked to be on a television show and talk about it. it is a difficult line to drop it at npr tries, in my view -- it is a difficult line to draw. antiart tries to dra -- an fbi tries to drop -- npr tries to draw -- >> what is the difference between you and juan? it is completely illogical and hypocritical. >> it is not for her to answer . >> i think that what this demonstrates is the change and the nature of journalism, where there are a lot of board lines, and everyone of us has to bear
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in mind what responsibilities and will we want to -- >> where did juan go over the line? >> it is risky when you get pulled on tv and sometimes you get asked, if you are a reporter, a question that you don't feel comfortable and look in your capacity as a reporter. >> this is highfalutin journalistic theory. where did juan go over the line? i am defending him. >> as i said, it was not a firing offense. that is not a question, as far as i'm concerned. >> a phone callomashe anita
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[ ehrlich ] four years ago unemployment in maryland was under four percent.
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today, it's nearly double. and nearly a quarter of a million marylanders are looking for work. in addition, we face a national health care plan that will hurt small business and cost us jobs. so we have to ask, are you better off today than you were four years ago? we're heading in the wrong direction. we need strong leadership. say no to things we can't afford. fix our health care plan. and refuse to raise taxes. martin o'malley can't do it. i will. >> that is law professor anita hill. she got a call this week from virginia thomas, the wife of the supreme court justice clarence thomas.
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she wanted an apology for accusing her husband of a sexual harassment 19 years ago. to say the least, this brings up old wounds. hill going to apologize. what is your take? --hill is not going to apologize. what is your take? >> i don't know, but i probably think mrs. thomas says never gotten over it, and is sitting at 7:30 in the morning is doing. you call the office at brandeis 7:30 in the morning and you don't expect to get a human being. she has done very visible political activity and does not reflect well on her husband either . it could cause serious problems for him in the court. the behavior is puzzling. >> jeanne cummings. >> i could not agree more. i do not know if there will be more to the story, but it is an odd thing to have it all dredged
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up so many years later. there are many, many young adults today who don't even know about the initial incident. clearly, i think it is a personal matter but we will see where it goes. >> colby, why did anita hill make the call public? >> of course i don't know the answer to that, either. why did ginnie thomas call? it is not an old wound for her, it is a fresh wound. it is the number one subject in clarence thomas' mind and in virginia thomas' mind, if you look a what he has written about it and what she says about it. so that does not surprise me. what does surprise me is that 19 years later, i still don't fully
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understand the relationship between those two people. >> what surprises me is why anita hill would go to campus police and report this message. there is nothing threatening about that is something i would like answered as well. >> that is the last word. >> i accept it humbly. >> i'm mark shields, keeping the chair warm for gordon peterson, who will be back next week.
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